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Sunday 1st of August 2021

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2022 midterm elections The good news is, we are going to get the House back. We are going to get the House back. That is a done deal. We have everything working in our favor right now. We have redistricting coming up and the Republicans control most of that process in most of the states around the country.  That alone should get us the majority back.  Ronny Jackson, once Physician to the President, now a House member from Texas, admitting Republicans will rely on gerrymandering to win in 2022 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Affluence Beyond a certain point, it seems, the civic returns on economic growth are nil or even negative. The left's theory is that distribution counts for more than raw scale of wealth or its rate of growth. Too wide a gap between rich and poor tests the tensile strength of their civic bond. There is a darker explanation to entertain, though: that something about prosperity itself frees voters to toy with politics. Call it recreational extremism. Janan Ganesh, Financial Times, July 6, 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Afghanistan War This, in the end, is what the big screen's relative neglect of the Afghan war comes down to. The modern incapacity for despair. Most wars connote glory (the second world war) or folly (Iraq),  either of which is a guide to future action. This one was not a teachable moment so much as an extended riddle. It was right to go in and it was hopeless to go in. We have to leave and it is rash to leave. citation Janan Ganesh, Financial Times, July 9, 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Bullshitters say There was such love at that rally. They were peaceful people. These were great people. The crowd was unbelievable and I mentioned the word love, the love in the air. I've never seen anything like it. Donald “Don the Delusional” Trump, July 11, 2021, on the January 6 mob assault on the Capitol © 2021 Kwiple.com
Bullshitters say You don't think I wanted them to do that, do you? Donald Trump, who waited hours before calling off his supporters' violent assault on the Capitol by telling them, “Go home — we love you, you're very special” © 2021 Kwiple.com
Conservatives say Stand athwart history, yelling Stop,  at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it. William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review, November 19, 1955 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Democracy Democracy is premised on elections and changes of government. If you have one party that doesn't know how to lose, then democracy can't survive.  Daniel Ziblatt, Rolling Stone, June 16, 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Democratic Party In the early 1970s, the party became the home of educated professionals, nonwhite voters, and the shrinking unionized working class. The more the party identified with the winners of the new economy, the easier it became for the Republican Party to pull away white workers by appealing to cultural values. Bill and Hillary Clinton spoke about equipping workers to rise into the professional class through education and training. Their assumption was that all Americans could do what they did and be like them. George Packer, The Atlantic, July/August 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Extremism Since World War II, in countries with coalition-style governments, nations such as France and Germany, moderate parties team up to beat back extremist movements. That's not possible in a two-party system like ours. Daniel Ziblatt, Rolling Stone, June 16, 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Foreign relations c Israel secretly authorized a group of cyber-surveillance firms to work for the government of Saudi Arabia despite international condemnation of the kingdom's abuse of surveillance software to crush dissent, even after the Saudi killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, government officials and others familiar with the contracts said. New York Times, July 17, 2021 [The firms involved are NSO, Candiru, Cellebrite, Nerint and Quadream] © 2021 Kwiple.com
Identity politics But in identity politics, equality  refers to groups, not individuals, and demands action to redress disparate outcomes among groups — in other words, equity,  which often amounts to new forms of discrimination. George Packer, The Atlantic, July/August 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Kwiplers say Count votes in Congress by: 1. Calculating a Member's Proportional Vote (MPV) for each member, as follows: MPV = SPNP / NLRS where: SPNP = State's Percentage of the National Population NLRS = Number of Legislators Representing the State (in that legislature) 2. Totaling “yes” MPVs and “no” MPVs 3. Passing if total MPV is more than 50 OTHERWISE Abolish the Senate © 2019 Kwiple.com
Patriotism Smart Americans are uneasy with patriotism.  It’s an unpleasant relic of a more primitive time, like cigarette smoke or dog racing. It stirs emotions that can have ugly consequences.  The winners in Smart America — connected by airplane, internet, and investments to the rest of the globe — have lost the capacity and the need for a national identity, which is why they can't grasp its importance for others. The … problem is that abandoning patriotism to other narratives guarantees that the worst of them will claim it. George Packer, The Atlantic, July/August 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Post-2020 Senate shituation 15 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming) 2020 population: 40,085,414 Senators: 30 Republicans 1 Senator per 1,336,180 people 1 state (California) 2020 population: 39,368,075 Senators: 2 Democrats 1 Senator per 19,684,037 people 19,684,037 / 1,336,180 = 14.7, therefore: average 15er's vote is worth nearly 15 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth less than 7% of an average 15er's 1 state (Wyoming) 2020 population = 582,328, therefore: 1 Senator per 291,164 Wyomians, a Wyomian's vote is worth 68 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth 1.5% of a Wyomian's  © 2021 Kwiple.com
Reich wingers say Biden pushing a vaccine that is NOT FDA approved shows covid is a political tool used to control people. People have a choice, they don't need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations. You can't force people to be part of the human experiment. Marjorie Taylor Greene, 4:54 PM – Jul 6, 2021, comparing going door-to-door to reach unvaccinated people at their homes to Nazis hunting Jews © 2021 Kwiple.com
Rule of law  I don't get tough with anyone, Mr. Gittes. My lawyer does. Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) to J. J. “Jake” Gittes (Jack Nicholson), in Chinatown, written by Robert Towne, directed by Roman Polanski  © 2021 Kwiple.com
Selfie He became a different man when the Democrats viciously stated that they wanted to impeach him. They went wild. We want to impeach him. We're gonna impeach Bill Barr. We're gonna impeach him. He became different. I understand that. I didn't become different. I got impeached twice. I didn't change. I became worse. I became worse.  Donald Trump, July 11, 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Separation of powers In a sense, America benefits from a separation of powers that is deeper than the one codified by its founders. It is that between politics and culture; between formal and informal clout. One side has advantages in politics “proper”. The other gets to set the atmosphere in which it takes place. That this is an ill-gotten kind of peace does not mean there are better ones available. Janan Ganesh, Financial Times, July 13, 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Snapshot Hitler did a lot of good things. Adolf Hitler portrayed by Donald Trump © 2021 Kwiple.com
Snapshot Throughout his adult life, Trump has been hostile to Black people, contemptuous of women, vicious about immigrants from poor countries, and cruel toward the weak. He's an equal-opportunity bigot. Donald Trump portrayed by George Packer © 2021 Kwiple.com
Social media On social media, we have all become hammers searching for nails. Roxanne Gay, New York Times, July 18, 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
State of the union All right, we are two nations. John Dos Passos, August 23, 1927, following the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti © 2021 Kwiple.com
State of the union America's economic and civic prospects could hardly be more divergent. The war against cliché stops me reciting the first sentence of A Tale of Two Cities. But Americans really can claim to have “everything before us” and “nothing before us”, to be savouring spring and enduring winter all at once. Their nation has arrived at a sort of affluent dysfunction. Janan Ganesh, Financial Times, July 6, 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
State of the union Rising stocks and rock-bottom interest rates have delivered a big perk to rich Americans: cheap loans that they can use to fund their lifestyles while minimizing their tax bills. Banks say their wealthy clients are borrowing more than ever before, often using loans backed by their portfolios of stocks and bonds. …  The loans have special benefits beyond the flexible repayment terms and low interest rates on offer. They allow borrowers who need cash to avoid selling in a hot market. Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com
Supreme Court There are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they? Republican Senator Roman Hruska defending Nixon's nomination of G. Harrold Carswell for appointment to the Supreme Court © 2021 Kwiple.com
Surveillance Today, journalists in dozens of countries broke the story that military-grade surveillance technology, initially believed to be used for criminals and terrorists, was weaponized against journalists, political rivals, activists and lawyers from around the world. The revelation of this misuse of Pegasus, a surveillance software licensed and sold by the Israeli spyware firm NSO Group, has stirred outrage and calls for the spyware to be better regulated by global governments. Maddowblog, July 19, 2021 [Pegasus is “zero click” spyware]  © 2021 Kwiple.com
Water And then there's the rising crisis of affordability. With federal funding cut to a dribble, utilities have tried to fill in with constant hikes in water bills. Our average monthly rate has jumped more than a third since 2012, and analysts estimate that within three years up to 36% of households won't be able to afford drinking water. The American Water Works Association reports that income fully covers costs in only one in five systems, and four out of five large utilities expect they will not be able to provide full service five years from now. Hightower Lowdown, May 2021 © 2021 Kwiple.com